Best Movies of All Time + Steve Martin



You can watch the trailer here

You know me - I'm always down for a good musical comedy, and Frank Oz's Little Shop of Horrors does not disappoint.

We open on a rundown horticultural shop in the skid row part of town where lifelong poorboy Seymour (Rick Moranis) is the chief horticulturalist. He constantly fantasizes and chases after his coworker Audrey (Ellen Greene) who happens to be in an abusive relationship with sadistic dentist Orin (Steve Martin). Seymour has slowly been nursing an unidentified plant that he aptly names "Audrey II" but quickly learns that it can only survive with a constant supply of human blood. As Audrey II continues to grow, Seymour also finds that it can speak (voicework by Levi Stubbs), and it starts to demand to be fed. Seymour finds ways to keep Audrey II satisfied while dealing with the pressure of the new-found fame he has garnered from the survival of this astonishing plant.

When you've got a movie about a human-eating plant, you might have some precautions going in; however, do not be afraid! I think you'll be just as surprised as I was. I've known about this movie for ages with it initially attracting my interest during my drama days in high school. So many of those theater geeks - I say that with as much love as possible - were obsessed with this flick and the off-Broadway show from which it stemmed that I was hard-pressed not to hear about it on a regular basis. However, I never took the time to give it a shot until today, and I am thoroughly impressed. Yes, it's a little bit geeky and dorky, but the story is still quite charming, and it's going to grab you and never let go.

The acting (slash singing) is also quite impeccable, especially from Moranis. Yes, he's usually a bit of a spaz in his roles, but in this one he tones it down a little bit while turning up the pipes. He's not the most amazing singer, but he definitely surprised me with his vocal performance. Greene also does a fantastic job with her role, giving Audrey a very unique voice. I don't think enough can be said about the Elvis Presley-like hilarity that Steve Martin brings to the screen - you'll be rolling with laughter whenever he graces the screen. Oh, and what can I say about some of the brilliant cameos thrown in here and there? Jim Belushi and John Candy are both very good, but a downright brilliant Bill Murray almost steals the show with his couple minutes of glory in this film. And enough can't be said for the voice work from Stubbs who brings a life to Audrey II that's both hilarious and, at times, quite creepy.

As good as everything else is, the music is really what holds Little Shop of Horrors together. I was a little apprehensive with some of the early songs, but once we had some solo and duet numbers, I was totally hooked. I think you've gotta give "Suddenly, Seymour" and "Mean Green Mother from Outerspace" (which nabbed an Oscar nom) credit as two of the best songs in the film, but then again, that could just be me and my personal preference. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman certainly did a fantastic job with the music for this film. I'm tempted to go buy the soundtrack right now, if that means anything.

As much as I've praised this film, I'm sure that it's really only for a select group of people. I can think of quite a few of my friends who would probably hate it, but I guess you can say that about most movies. Personally, I loved Little Shop of Horrors, and I would highly recommend it to anybody who'd be interested in watching a musical about a man-eating plant.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: A
Current All-Time Rank: Best - #119
2 Thumbs Up

1986, Alan Menken, Bill Murray, comedy, Ellen Greene, Frank Oz, Howard Ashman, John Candy, Levi Stubbs, Little Shop of Horrors, movie review, musical, Oscar nom, Rick Moranis, scifi, and more:

Relevant to: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS + Steve Martin